This is a moment of great moral clarity
Both major UK parties have made an example of an MP calling for a Gaza ceasefire. The values of our political system stand starkly exposed
Britain's two main political parties each made an example this week of an MP brave enough to break ranks and call for an end to the mass slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.
The ruling Conservative party sacked Paul Bristow MP from his government post after he wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: "A permanent ceasefire would save lives and allow for a continued column of humanitarian aid [to] reach the people who need it the most."
Labour withdrew the whip from Andy McDonald MP, effectively kicking him out of the parliamentary party. McDonald had said at a rally against the killing in Gaza: "We won’t rest until we have justice, until all people, Israelis and Palestinians, between the river and the sea can live in peaceful liberty.”
This should be a moment of great moral clarity for all of us.
It is shameful enough that both major British political parties – in what is effectively a two-horse race – back to the hilt Israel's mass slaughter of Palestinian civilians through weeks of indiscriminate bombing.
It is shameful enough that both parties term this “self-defence”, giving Israel licence for as long as it wants to carry on murdering civilians, including killing by its rain of bombs a Palestinian child every few minutes.
It is shameful enough that both parties want to continue arming Israel, meaning British weapons are helping to blow up entire Palestinian families.
It is shameful enough that both parties enthusiastically support Israel's genocidal policy of starving 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza of food, water, medicines and the power needed to keep hospitals running, as well as destroying infrastructure essential to the maintenance of life.
It is shameful enough that both parties have refused to raise their voices in protest at the ethnic cleansing of 1 million Palestinians from northern Gaza – for some of them a third expulsion in their lifetime by Israel – into what was supposedly a “safe zone” that Israel is bombing just as aggressively as the “evacuation zone”.
All of that is shameful enough. But now we are supposed to swallow a further moral outrage. That neither party will tolerate even the mildest dissent from this licence for depravity.
Neither party will allow a solitary MP to say “Not in my name”.
Neither party will permit an MP to represent the large majority in Britain that is appalled by the tidal wave of blood being spilt in Gaza and wants it to end through a ceasefire.
This is moment of great moral clarity. We see who leads us, and what they value. And it is not life. It is not humanity.
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